The Green Development Fund for the SICA Region will provide 26 million Euros to Central American countries and the Dominican Republic to improve the resilience to climate change in vulnerable areas through the restoration of ecosystems and landscapes.
This initiative will be implemented within the framework of cooperation between the European Union (EU), the Central American Integration System SICA and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMU), contributing to the adaptation of the region to the effects of climate change.
The Green Development Fund will invest in ecosystem and landscape restoration processes to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population over the next 4 years.
The fund will be administered by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in coordination with the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), and will enable the expansion of activities under CCAD's REDD+ Landscape program.
The German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) will provide EUR 6 million and the European Union will make a financial contribution of EUR 20 million.
The launching activities were announced by The Green Development Fund at the opening ceremony held on August 22nd in Belize City, Belize, with the participation of the Minister of Environment of Belize and current President Pro Tempore of CCAD, Omar Figueroa, the Executive Secretary of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development, Salvador Nieto and the delegate of the European Commission, Luis Sonzini.
Delegates from the Ministries of the Environment of Central America and the Dominican Republic participated in a planning workshop to define the focus of the actions of the Green Development Fund on local investments towards the improvement of essential ecosystem services for adaptation to climate change:
The participants formed a technical committee to follow up and provide technical supervision of the implementation of the Green Development Fund.
Central America and the Caribbean are among the most affected regions by the effects of climate change. The frequency and scale of extreme weather events are increasing, causing droughts, floods, landslides, mudslides, fires, the increase of pests and diseases and other phenomena that put the livelihoods of rural populations at risk. Additionally, natural resource degradation - resulting from land misuse and deforestation - has drastically reduced essential ecosystem services, such as water and microclimate regulation, soil protection and biodiversity in general.
Ecosystem and landscape restoration ensures important ecosystem services for people and strengthens resilience to the effects of climate change. Therefore, the governments of the region, within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDA) and the Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement (NDC), give high priority to ecosystem and landscape restoration as an adaptation strategy to climate change.
GIZ, through the REDD+ Landscape program, funded by the German Ministry of Environment (BMU), has supported since 2014 the implementation of national landscape restoration strategies through pilot projects and the development of specific financial mechanisms creating the starting point for a regional financial mechanism. The Green Development Fund, funded by the European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, supports the consolidation and integration of financing, implementation and monitoring mechanisms at the regional level and provides resources to finance ecosystem restoration projects in prioritized landscapes.